News & Analysis

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    NBCUniversal to pay $6.4M in lawsuit over unpaid internships

    Courts are getting serious about unpaid internship claims, and now NBCUniversal has opted to pay the piper, agreeing to settle a lawsuit for $6.4 million. [Source: Hollywood Reporter]
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    Surprise! The Internet is chock-full of assholes

    The Internet is filled with assholes who ruin it for everyone else. That’s the takeaway from two seemingly disparate news items — the first that cloud storage service Bitcasa is ending its unlimited plan, and the second that Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee doesn’t like that his legacy is being used to spread “the dark side of humanity,” as the Guardian puts it — published today. (I’m sure that plenty of other things could be included in this list.)…
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    Inventables’ new 3D carver wants to give the maker movement new life

    The last time I spoke to Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan he’d launched the company’s new Easel software platform at SXS, a program designed to take the prohibitively inaccessible complexities of 3D design more manageable. When I reach him this week, Kaplan is laughing. Inventables Kickstarter campaign for its Carvey machine, a tabletop 3D carving machine has shattered its $50,000 target, sitting close to $300,000. As I write, it’s sitting above $400,000. Inventables popular Shapeoko CNC mills were kits that users…
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    NYPD to receive tech upgrade

    The New York Police Department will be given 35,000 smartphones, and patrol cars outfitted with 6,000 “ruggedized” tablets, as part of an effort to bring the department into the 21st century. The upgrades will cost $160 million over three years; the funding will come from a settlement paid by a French bank. [Source: The New York Times]
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    Spring.me raises $5M to make something out of Formspring’s ashes

    Spring.me has raised $5 million to create what it’s calling the world’s “friendliest social network” out of the question-and-answer site Formspring, TechCrunch reports. The idea is that Spring.me’s older user-base will be less inclined to bully than younger counterparts — as if teenagers are the only people who become assholes as soon as they go online. [Source: TechCrunch]
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    Aereo uses up another of its nine lives

    It hasn’t been Aereo’s year. The Supreme Court ruled in June that the company’s service, which allowed its users to record over-the-air broadcasts and watch them on their smartphones, tablets, and other devices, was operating in violation of the Copyright Act of 1976 because it was so similar to cable offerings. Then the US Copyright Office said in July that the company couldn’t receive the compulsory licenses that would allow it to continue operating because — get this — it’s…
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    Yes, Queen Elizabeth II has sent her first tweet

    Judging from the sheer number of posts on the topic published on this slow Friday morning, it seems like people actually care that Queen Elizabeth II has sent her first tweet. The tweet was sent during the opening of the Information Age exhibit at Science Museum. It was pretty standard stuff. Now let’s talk about literally anything else. [Source: Engadget]
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    We asked Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang: How much will China’s tech companies shape the new global economy?

    Alibaba. Tencent. Baidu. We hear the company names and we see their impressive valuations. But very few Westerners actually use these products and services, and therefore it’s difficult to sense how big a role they will play in shaping the new global economy, particularly because of China’s attitudes toward censorship and Internet freedom. These uncertainties arose at tonight’s PandoMonthly in San Francisco, featuring Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri and Jerry Yang, the cofounder and former CEO of Yahoo, which owns a stake of the…
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    Aneel Bhusri on disruption and taking on Oracle: “It always comes from the upstarts”

    The first generation of enterprise software giants badly missed “the cloud.” There might be no better real world example of the innovator’s dilemma. Stalwarts like Oracle and SAP largely ignored the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, willingly ceding what they viewed as a small opportunity to any upstart willing to make a play for it. Many tried. And yet, despite this lack of competition, most of the early cloud companies failed to gain much traction. This was a topic of conversation…
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    Listen again to this week’s PandoLIVE

    Most of the airtime of this week’s PandoLIVE call-in show was given over to our discussion about Whisper’s current privacy scandal. Fortunately, though, there was still time to talk about our sponsor Rackspace’s plan to murder children and turn them into delicious jam. I suspect they’re going to regret trusting us to ad-lib their ads now. You can listen to the full show below: … SPONSOR MESSAGE: Free Hosting!  Visit www.rackspacestartups.com to see if your startup qualifies for free hosting…
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    Aneel Bhusri: I thought Larry Ellison was a nice guy… and then he went off on Workday

    Speaking on stage at tonight’s PandoMonthly, Aneel Bhusri explained what it was like when Larry Ellison “went off” on Workday at the 2012 AllThingsD conference just before Workday’s IPO. Here’s his response, as reported by the WSJ: Larry: It’s going to be very interesting to monitor Workday. We monitor Workday, and we beat Workday all the time. Workday doesn’t use a database. They use Flash as a user interface, so they can’t run on iPhones or iPads. Whenever we’re in a…
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    Pando members — watch the livestream of Aneel Bhusri and Jerry Yang. RIGHT NOW

    Starting right now in San Francisco, Sarah Lacy is interviewing Aneel Bhusri and Jerry Yang for this month’s PandoMonthly. As ever, we’ll be covering news from event here on Pando, but Pando Members can watch the whole interview, live and in HD, in the members’ area. If you’re not yet a member, you can join right now, right here.
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    So Christian Bale will play Steve Jobs. But will the movie be any good?

    You may have heard that Aaron Sorkin, the purveyor of verbal acrobatics and thinly-drawn female characters behind “West Wing” and “Social Network,” has written another biopic of a famous entrepreneur: Steve Jobs. Now the upcoming film, which will be helmed by “Trainspotting” director Danny Boyle, has a leading man. Christian Bale will pick up where Ashton Kutcher left off by playing the mercurial Apple founder. Say what you will about Bale  — the “Batman voice” is still the worst — but…
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    Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems (Newsweek)

    “In some ways the higher echelons of Google seemed more distant and obscure to me than the halls of Washington. … I was intrigued that the mountain would come to Muhammad. But it was not until well after Schmidt and his companions had been and gone that I came to understand who had really visited me.” ~Julian Assange, in Newsweek
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    Senator demands answers as Guardian publishes evidence that Whisper exec lied about user privacy

    There’s no pretty way to say this: Whisper is fucked. Earlier today, it was reported that Senator Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, has written to CEO Michael Heyward demanding a Committee staff briefing to explain the company’s privacy protections. In the letter, embedded below, Rockefeller wrote: To assist the committee in evaluating questions that have been raised about [Whisper's] practices and policies, I request a Committee staff briefing from your company… I…
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The Week in Review